Smallville “Finale” Review

Clark and Lois’s wedding is interrupted when the Planet Apokolips itself enters the solar system on a crash course with Earth.  Meanwhile, Lionel Luthor plans to use Tess’s heart as the last piece needed to resurrect Lex.  In the final episode of Smallville, Clark must come to terms with his past, present and future in time to save the entire world, and become its greatest hero.

SE 10: Episode 216 & 217 “Finale”

The first episode in the two-part finale is a little slow.  It focuses mainly on Lois and Clark’s relationship, as they each go back on forth on whether or not to actually get married.  Thankfully, the situation is finally resolved, albeit in rather mushy fashion.  But that’s the thing, Smallville was designed to be a dramatic show first, and an action/adventure series second.  You weren’t going to get out of there without some heavy chick-flick moments.

Clark’s old doubts return, this time coming from his friends and loved ones, who feel that now that he’s got himself together, perhaps he’s gone a little too far, and is now over-confident.  I’m not sure where the idea came from that cutting himself off from his past was a good one, but it serves as a good metaphor for the series here at the end.  It seems the one thing that Clark has always lacked was balance.  Balance between Smallville and Krypton, his past and his future, and between Clark Kent and Superman.  These are all things that must be kept in balance, and I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that once Clark gets himself together, Lex returns, who is the balance to Clark’s goodness.

The Evil Oliver and Gold K rings gave both him and Chloe something to do.  Chloe stopped the wedding and saved Clark’s powers, and Oliver got to be redeemed and take down Granny and her cohorts.  I’m still not a hundred percent on how he defeated them with simple arrows.  Was it his pure heart, or did he have those gleaming arrow heads made out of fragments from the Bow of Orion?

Probably the best moment of the entire two hours, and the one that really made it feel like Smallville’s finale, and not Superman’s Prologue, was the scene in the barn between Clark, Jonathan and Martha.  The pep-talk they give him was so perfect, ending with simply “It’s time,” as Clark runs off and his parents watch as he goes to work.  More so than even the return of Lex, this scene is what closes the loop and resolves what is truly the most important relationship on the show, that of Clark with his parents.

For sheer entertainment value, the return of Lex started out great, but faltered towards the end!  Lionel, who now looks like a demented old prophet himself, stitching Lex together like some Frankenstein monster was eerie and godless.  Lex’s face-off with Clark was perfect because, with so many villains already, it was poetic to have Lex’s last lines to Clark essentially be a pep-talk, especially since Lex was Clark’s friend at the very beginning.  The whole gentleman villain, who wants to defeat Superman and not Clark was glorious, and it really makes me mad that they made Lex forget everything.

I mean, what is the point of Lex Luthor, if he isn’t THE LEX LUTHOR we’ve been watching for all these years.  It makes his journey pointless.  It felt like the writers just bowed to the pressure of the Mythology, which states that Lex doesn’t know Clark is Superman.  But there was no reason for OUR Lex to forget that.  Just make it clear that he wants to defeat Superman and not Clark.  I’m afraid I’m going to have to use my discontinuity card on that last bit.

Tess’s death was also unsatisfying.  She had been built up into a well-rounded character all her own, and it felt like they just killed her off because it was a finale and SOMEONE had to die.  I think I would have liked it better of Lionel did manage to give Lex Tess’s heart, only to have Lex kill Lionel for that and put Tess on life-support, promising to take care of her forever.  It would have given Lex a surprisingly humane twist, and yet still played into his whole screwed up family ties.

Given the issues with Clark’s past raised this episode, it figures that the show would essentially end on “Clark’s Greatest Hits.”  Remembering all his best moments was a great way to give Clark the confidence to finally fly and become Superman.  Not to mention it got a lot of special effect shots in there for essentially  free.

After ten years, it would have been a sin if Clark hadn’t flown and worn the suit in the final episode.  Still, we didn’t get a clear shot of Tom Welling in the Superman suit, since I’m willing to bet he didn’t wear it.  But hey, it was enough that CLARK actually wore it.

Lois Lane with the President on Air Force One, being Superman’s first rescue was perfect.  As was Superman’s first public feat being saving the whole world from Apokolips, and essentially saving Metropolis from a meteor ala every comic from the 50’s.  All that was pitch-perfect and could not have been improved upon.

The Flash Forward at the end had some great moments.  Superman’s story being broken down into a children’s bedtime story, complete with Gary Frank art no less, just fit so perfectly.  I’m glad that Chloe lived through everything, and even had a son with Oliver.  The Lois and Clark stuff we had pretty much seen before in other Flash Forwards, but I just can’t get enough of that.  Aaron Ashmore and Michael McKean returning as Jimmy (Jr) and Perry White was just icing on the cake, as was Lex being elected president.

The final shot of Clark tearing open his shirt to reveal the S-Shield needs no words.  We all felt the same thing, I’m sure.

Endings on TV are usually sad.  Characters typically move away, quit their jobs, leave their friends, etc.  Basically, they are a big sign that reads “The Party’s Over.”  No more adventures, no more fun times.  But with Smallville, you know that the fun is only beginning.  You know that the day after the Apokolips incident, everything went on, pretty much exactly as it has all these years.  Everyone is still out there, having adventures, righting wrongs and saving the day.  You can even read about them in Superman comics every month.

So for ten great years, to all the actors, writers, directors, crew and everyone that made Smallville what it was, we the fans just want to say thank you for keeping the myth alive.

Up Up and Away!


Pros Cons
Gives you everything you could want from Smallville’s Finale Lex’s fogetfullness was overkill



  1. Steven Bell says:

    I missed a good deal of the series, dropping in on certain guest stars I was interested in. I thought the last episode was remarkable. There’s one aspect of the ending that probably made no sense to someone who got into Superman only during the Smallville era – the entire final scene, including ending credits and music was an homage to the first Superman movie and they really nailed it…Even the fact that it was set in 2018 was deliberate, because that’s the 40th anniversary of the movie. That was meant to give anyone who grew up with the Christopher Reeve movies the sense that after all these years the story really came full circle in a similar way as the latest Star Trek movie. It was a great touch.

  2. Joe says:

    Weak. totally weak. just one frickin hour of the suit, one hour of speedy blurry butt kickings, one hour of slimy villains saying ” I’ll get you for this Superman, One minute of himself declaring himself to the world and striking that familiar pose. like when he let Doomsday take the first shot. but noooo. none of it. really you should stop kissing arse and demand better. i wanted the superman from the DC Online start. it was pathetic. they could have given the actors better story. the actors always did a good job. it’s the writers that always fail miserably 

  3. Vic says:

    The finale was a ripoff, yes there was some nice things like the homage to the Christopher Reeve’s Superman, but overall it was a big let down! The

  4. Dixon says:

    I think they took the easy way out. the fight with darkside  is suppose to be epic.

  5. Tom Parry says:

    TEss was killed becasue she is essentially this show’s stand in for Mercy and Lex kiled Mercy… so bringing Lex back not only negates the need for TEss, but also presents the opportunity to essentially do somethin “right.” I honestly smiled when he stabbed her, as I felt it accurate to the Superman mythos. THat said, I found her memory grease to be quite a dues ex machina called in for the episode in the eleventh hour as people began to complain that if Lex is going to have his memory from the series, than its flawed becasue Lex doesn’t know Clark is Superman in the canon. But yeah… ANYWAY! There was so much good and so uch bad in this finale, its very much a representation of the series in a whole, and for that I give it massive props. ~lol~

  6. This was the most hilariously overblown episode of all time.  There was some huge build up for the suit, for the wedding and all that crap and all Supe did was push a minuscule planet away.

    Also, for one, NASA would have seen Apokalips ages ago and they should be able to tell the difference in size of a small planet and a damn asteroid.

  7. brent says:

    I dont think yall get what this showe is about. Its not about Superman. Its about clark Kent find who he is. Everyone knows Superman as the man who alway make the right choses and dose what is best for everyone. But no one realy know why. The showe wasnt about going aginst Darkside, that wasnt the final battle for them. that was just one of many meetings between them. Its about the jorney Clark Kent (not supman) had to take and the trials he had to go though is become the man of steel that we all know. so what more anyone wasnt from this showe. It was great and well wroth the 10 year wait!

  8. Hector Lugo says:

    Blah blah blah. This finale was half good and half awful. The first half, the wedding jitters, was good, romantic, true to the whininess that we have come to expect from this version of Clark Kent, but building up Darkseid, one of Comics’ greatest villains, and then essentially ending him in all of 12 seconds, and then having Clark push Apokalypse away, again, all in a matter of seconds, with no drama or sense of actual danger, totally totally sucked. Supergirl’s confrontation with Darkseid in DC Animated’s SupermanBatman Apokalypse was 1000 times better. And that wasn’t even one of their better animated releases.

  9. ed C says:

    For the most part I loved the “Smallville” finale. They gave us so much of what we wanted BUT what I wanted MOST, to see Welling the Superman suit, did NOT happen and when what you most wanted to see didn’t happen, it is a bummer. Yes, he became Superman but the long distnace CGI shots were disappointing compared to what I hoped to see. On the other hand, his ascension from the Fortress of Solitude as he flew upwards, that WAS Amazing!

  10. Elle says:

    Usually this reviewer for this site does a nice job of writing maturely about the relationships as opposed to making psuedo-sexist comments about “chick flicks.”  It’s surprising to me that after so many reviews where you came off like a mature person who respected that the emotional journey was just as important to this story as the action that you reverted to being insulting towards the women and men (because yes, men like the relationships too) who enjoy the appreciate the relationships on this show by calling them “chick flicks.”   

    The Clark/Lois stuff in the first hour was probably some of the most moving and sincere moments in the entire series.   The Clark/Lois stuff and the Clark/Jonathan/Martha stuff was what brought emotional depth to the episode.  Without it…the episode would have felt empty.   The vows were well written, well acted and beautifully done.   They also answered a 10 year arc of Clark trying to find someone to spend his life with so he wouldn’t be alone.   It honestly stuns me that you couldn’t appreciate how important that was.   Expected better from this site.

    • I didn’t know the term chick-flick was tantamount to a racial slur, but if it is, I apologize. Personally, I found the Lois and Clark stuff in this episode to be a little too overwrought for my tastes. I was on-board last week with Lois being overwhelmed by the knowledge that Clark is “wasting time” that could be spent saving people on her. But the whole back-and-forth this episode felt too much like the Teen Drama from the first few seasons. I guess I just didn’t buy it, because it felt like they were trying too hard to make it dramatic and epic. “Maybe I can’t be with someone I love…” Didn’t we deal with that about a dozen episodes ago, if not last season?

      But with so much in the episode to talk about, I didn’t really have time or space to say all that, so I tried shorthand it with a joke which didn’t land, which is typical. So again, sorry, and thanks for the compliments about the earlier reviews and the site in general.

  11. cynthia says:

    So how wonderful is it that Lex returned and he should have never left and I wish the producers had paid him loads of money to get him to stay, but at least in the end he came back, thank God. Watching it I gave a little triumphant scream when I saw him on screen. My partner was like what happened lol. No seriously for me the show went downhill when he left and without him in the finale it wouldn’t have been right. So good on you Michael.

    Anyway about the actual finale, well it was what it was, everyone was saved, Clark embraced his cryptonian side and human side got married we presume. So all is well in the world of Clark Kent and the legacy of Superman. I read from someone about how Tom didnt want to close ups when in the Superman costumes and I had previously heard him talking about this in a comic con interview. Seriously, if that is the real reason why he didnt wear the costume earlier and why they didnt have full costume close ups then he should be ashamed. The show was supposed to live up to the Superman legacy and superman wore the damn costume so it should have been so in the series too. Also did anyone else feel like Tom’s portrayal of Clark was lacking emotion. I mean it was like he was a robot and I dont know if it was what he was told to do or it was his acting skills. maybe that’s what you get when you have such a chiseled American hunk face. 
    Anyway I dont know why I really ever started to watch Smallville, because here in Australia it didnt really air until recently and has been off and on air over the years. We are currently on season 9 I think but thank God for the internet. I watched the show I guess because I loved the way Michael portrayed Lex. He embraced that role and I think its due to his great acting skills seeing as he is nothing like the character in real life, I presume from what i have seen of him in interviews. Then there was the whole Lana, Lex, Clark triangle which I loved. Kristin did such a superb job and it was a shame she was not in the finale, what the f was up with that? 
    I didnt like it when they killed off Jonathan Kent because that was not true to the superman movies and it was stupid they decided to do that. I wonder why they chose to kill him off then have Martha go off and become the red lady, or whatever she was called. Honestly some of the story lines you really have to wonder what drugs they were smoking when they wrote those scenes. I’m babbling now so i think i will go through the finale step by step.
    First of all I dont know why the decided that Lois should question her relationship to Clark when she had been so adamant that they belonged together for almost the entire season. Erica always acted really well however I dont know if she was the right choice for the role and I think they lacked the chemistry that Tom had with Kirstin. I really liked the vows though, they were really sweet and the most emotion either of the characters have ever displayed for each other. Wished they had actually gotten married instead of leaving it a little open ended although i think its safe to say that we can presume they did get married. So at least they got that right.
    Someone said in a review they thought Tess’s role in the finale was lacking and I must agree. Again I dont know why the character was needed for the show to start off with, but I liked her. You kind of struggled with her and hated her then loved her and I do think she achieved redemption in the end. Funny I felt guilty for not feeling very sad at her death and that whole thing seemed weird, like what the hell was the point of killing her off?
    I liked Jonathan Kent on a whole in the series but bringing him back the way they did for the sake of it seemed unjustified. Like what you have to bring him back as a spirit, what for? They killed him off so they have to live with it. Whatever, it was nice to have him at the almost wedding.
    Then there was Chole and Oliver and that always felt forced. They were not a good match at all. I had always hoped him and Lois would stay together but whatever obviously that was a stupid notion. I loved Justin as Oliver. Other than Lex he was my second fav character and actor in the show.  hope he gets a spin off one day soon. You know when you’ve been watching characters develop over a 10 year span you hope to get to know them on a deeper level and you kind of did with characters like Lex and Oliver but I never did with Clark. What i mean is that they had depth of character and Clark didnt. What did Clark like? We dont know, he never had any real interests. Oh you all might say its because he was too busy saving the world but it would have been nice to see that human side of him a little. I cant even remember if Clark cried once in the show. Its really gotten on my nerves over the years, like just cry shout scream do something to show emotion. Yes I know he did show emotion just not enough. 
    So with Chole having a child that was great to see, but of course Oliver wasnt actually shown in the future scenes so I thought they made a mistake in doing that. 
    The actual story line of the dooms day planet was so ridiculous but I never paid much attention to that, as I am sure like everyone else, I only cared about the relationships. 
    Then there was Tess taking away Lex’s memories which I am divided about. I mean it sure was an interesting twist, like it was what he deserved in a way but at the same time I didnt want Lex to be a shell of his former self. It didnt make much sense really. 

    Okay so after 10 seasons what I will remember is how deliciously evil Lex was and  yet you just had to love him, to understand it was not his fault being raised by an evil father. I will always remember those intense scenes between Clark and Lex, the downfall of their friendship. Just anything Lex was to die for which is why it was absolutely tragic that he left the show, but wonderful he came back in the end, yay for him. I will also remember how much Clark loved Lana and had always wished they were the ones that ended up together. I almost thought the finale would involve her coming back now being able to be around him having her powers removed and that he would have to choose between Lana and Lois. That would have been way more interesting. Oh and of course I will always remember the great Oliver Queen. Seriously if there was a spin off with those three characters I think that it would be more successful than Smallville ever was. But please dont think my negative comments meant i didnt like the show because I did. I had to see how it all ended. The ending was fitting I guess and everyone kind of ended up the way they should have, so props to the producers for that. 

    So long Smallville, its been a long few years of watching and the show did entertain and make me happy so thanks for that. 

    Always; never live in regret. :)

  12. Jeff says:

    Like ed C, I wanted desperately to see Clark in the outfit, just because it seemed like the right thing to do after ten years. But after going back and watching the second half again, I think they nailed enough awesome moments to make up for that. Yes, the whole Lex-forgetting-everything device sucked. Yes, dispatching Darkseid so easily was lame. And, yes, Oliver, Chloe’s, and Tess’ contributions to the finale were mediocre at best. But how about the good stuff? Every scene between Clark, Martha and/or Jonathan Kent was perfect. The scene between Clark and Lex was enormously satisfying. Jor El’s speech to Clark and the latter’s ascension from the Fortress was one of the coolest moments ever in television. The final scene with Lois on Air Force One was classic Lois Lane (and in fact ALL of the scenes on Air Force One I thought were very well done). And, c’mon… you don’t even have to be a Superman fan to have appreciated that final shot of Welling revealing the S symbol to John Williams’ legendary score! I’d say that was enough awesomeness to warrant a pretty damn good series finale.

  13. Alejandro says:

    Series Finales are generally rough.  But somehow, I think “Lost” was able to do it best.

  14. Gabe says:

    why does everybody hate the finale?? Pretty much everybody’s argument against it is “Superman didnt wear the suit!!!” Well, . . . SUPERMAN HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT HIS COSTUME!!! Superman is made a great hero by his actions and character, and the finale showed Clark accomplish that potential no question! I though the episode was perfect. It gave me everything i wanted: a look back to the 10 years of the past, clark taking the final step to his destiny. it even gave me more than what i wanted


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